Why we want to change people, and how we’ve been molded to think with our brains 


I don’t even know where to start. This day has been a rollercoaster ride. Heck, this past year has been one big giant unsteady shaky slack line. And in these past two weeks? I have probably felt every emotion on every spectrum that exists.

-First wave of emotion- Nostalgia

On this morning’s bike ride, I found myself right back where I spent my first five years in Calgary. The river was calmer than I’ve seen in decades, but despite the lack of activity around me, this wave of nostalgia hit me like a brick. This was  déjà-vu, circa 2001-2004 – the hilly pathway by the Elbow, the swimming pool we spent our summers at, the shady BBQ spots, my first float, Sandy Beach, the walking home from school on the frozen river, our tree house, Rideau, the steep hill we slid down on our toboggan once ‘cuz we wanted to arrive at school in style (weirdos!), the first time we all got collectively grounded for staying out and about too late (12-year-olds be crazy!), the time I spent the night with my neighbour on whom I had a crush on, watching the stars in our sleeping bags on his front lawn. I mean, the list can go on, the memories are endless. Ironic how people from back then rarely remember my name or even know I went to school with them. I, however, remember almost everything…

-Second wave of emotion -Brokenness

Next thing you know, I am lying face down on my kitchen floor, sobbing big fat angry tears. It was a long time coming and I absolutely needed to feel this.  The composure I’ve been maintaining for too long had to go, the act was over, vulnerabilty took over my entire body, curling me into a tiny ball of grief and despair. I’m hurt, I’m angry, I’m angry that I got angry, I’m angry that I’m still angry. Did I mention hurt and angry? I make a quick phone call to a friend overseas who never sugar coats anything. He flats out tells me I have no confidence and that I’m too nice. Touché. I’m unsure how these comments didn’t break me more. Somehow, it lifted my spirits. I have learnt something. Honesty wins the day. Sobbing sesh is over.

-Third wave of emotion -Openness.

Life is way too short. Permanence is non-existent. We are temporary. Once this registers into our brains, we become fearless, we become open to receiving, open to new experiences. Our judgements are set aside, we live in the moment, we don’t think, we just feel. I have not felt this openness in a long time.  I shy away from feeling. I absolutely hate the idea of being vulnerable in front of someone. Someone tries to get too close too soon? I’ll sabotage. Sad but true. If  I have feelings for you, you’ll likely never find out. Pathetic right?, living in fear Iike that. Only took me seven years to finally confess. The person had no idea.

-Fourth wave of emotion – Inspiredness

I’m tired? The answer is yoga.

Angry? Yoga

Sad? Yoga

Energized? Yoga

Yoga is my high, my fuel. It’s also a classroom of wisdom and wake-up calls.

 Inspiration número uno :


We try to change people because of our own insecurities.

Touché. My insecurities were still kicking around. Mainly trust issues, trust in others and trust in myself. I’ve come to learn that people with their nose in your business are likely avoiding whatever is going on with them. It’s always easier to “fix” others and focus our energy on others’ problems to avoid facing ourselves entirely. True story. Ideally, we’d accept everyone as they are because when we learn to accept our imperfect selves, other people’s issues simply do not affect us.  Whether we should let everyone in is another story.

Inspiration número dos:

We let our brains take over our lives. 

From a very young age, we are told to think with our brains. We were wired to process everything with thoughts and to conform to society’s high demand of ourselves: get into competitive sports, get a degree, take on a highly respected career path, make lots of money, become famous, get a house, get married, make babies. With all those high demands comes a lot of thinking and a lot of thinking over what is wrong and what is right. The truth? There is no wrong or right. If we would simply let ourselves feel more, we would realize that that’s what only truly matters. What do I want out of my life? Who do I want to surround myself with? What makes me happy?

It feels safe to deny life and all the beauty it has to offer. It feels safe not to feel and not take a chance because we are afraid to get hurt. This ain’t a rehearsal though. One shot, one life. Like I told my friend on the phone, “let me cry, damn it. Let me feel. It hurts like a bitch but I’d rather feel than feel nothing at all”.

What inspires you? On giving back, living life and meditation

I am on day 17 of the 21-day Oprah + Deepak Chopra meditation challenge. My mom sent me a link the day before the start of the challenge, and just like that, I decided to be up for the challenge and to stick with it. There has been a couple days where I missed a meditation or two but was always able to make it up the next day. I meditate in strange ways quite frankly. I sometimes sit crossed-legged on my yoga mat with a lit candle, but more often than not, I find myself in savasana-style pose, in my bed right before I go to sleep or in my bath. I figured there were going to be days where I wasn’t up for the ‘traditional’ meditation sesh and I decided to be OK with that and do what felt right at the time. Meditating in the bath gets chilly and meditating right before bed (and usually around 11:30 at night!) puts me to sleep. Sometimes I wonder if I reap the benefits of this challenge because half the time I feel fidgety and my mind is going a million miles an hour and really, I don’t really sit THAT still…. What has changed though is my mind isn’t going a million miles an hour with worry or anxiety. It’s acting this way because this meditation challenge has helped me realize what I truly wanted to do in life, something I feel like I have always known but until now, had no idea how to access that desire. The meditation challenge has completely changed me. There was a switch that has been dormant in me for the past few years and a couple of meditation sessions switched it right back on. How crazy to think something as simple and easy as meditation would put me back in tune with my true desires!

It’s truly been a fantastic journey that has opened me up to my highest desires and which has gotten my mind buzzing with motivation and anticipation! This is great news and continuing meditation will help me stay grounded in my desires, which I believe remains important for any great success to come!

I still cannot believe how alive I feel right now. So much to do, so much to create!

A friend and I drove to Canmore on Sunday and I shared with her my aspirations. It felt so great to be open about what I’ve been up to and where I saw myself take my life next. She too is going through a similar phase and it was just pure joy to be able to share my goals and thoughts with her. To boot, the mountains were overwhelmingly beautiful as always. I always find that they give me the strength and courage to go on and follow my intuition, my gut feeling…their beauty is inspiring; always turn to nature for inspiration. It is where you will find true unspoiled beauty and true unspoiled beauty inspires, always… It was a quiet Sunday afternoon amongst the Rockies, a truly magical and inspiring Sunday afternoon hangout beyond words. What a gorgeous day!

All this new development in my life got me thinking of all things that inspire me. Books inspire me, nature inspires me, people who believe in living their dreams, not simply watching them from afar. People who are not afraid to take a risk; people who live life in honesty and who give back inspires me greatly too! I stumbled upon The Giving Keys, a company who employs those transitioning out of homelessness. Their concept is amazeballs! Or The Rocky Mountain Soap’s new toxic-free campaign! Wow! It’s great to hear of people coming up with new concepts that have meaning and that give back!! Bring it on world!

Meditation and yoga will never seize to inspire me; lately, even swing dancing has inspired me. What a great way to let loose, live a little, not be afraid to look silly and let go of one’s busy day! What a great way to be a part of a community too! It is rare nowadays to find a community of people who get together to dance, live and laugh. Might as well enjoy it while we can! Community is important! We are too disconnected!! Dance brings people together, it makes you connect and it makes you feel alive!!

Fashion has always inspired me. Being unique in how you dress, trying something new, the love for beautiful things, beautiful textiles, beautiful objects…candles, vintage suitcases…

As always my list can go on and on because the world truly inspires me. A crack in the sidewalk inspires me! The snow, the fog, the wind…

Tears of joy inspire me…reading about random-acts-of-kindness made my day. Read about it here. I really like the train story (the things we can do when we unite!) and the opponent’s cake story (wow, beautiful).

Anyway, enough about me….I want to know what inspires YOU? Leave your comments, pass it forward.

Live your life.
Claire

What goes wrong….

Lately I feel defeated without really knowing why. I still don’t know what I want or who I want to be. I have a full-time job, good friends, a roof above my head; why am I feeling like a lost soul again?

The number one thing that is throwing me off is my lack of focus. There’s so much I want to do and explore that I’m confusing myself and digging myself a hole of nothingness.

That inner-peace and bliss I’ve so often experienced has been nowhere in sight. Instead, it is replaced by an anxious heart and impatience.

I read this morning a story in the HuffPost on how to combat the feeling of defeat. I liked their suggestions: Writing down what you actually see/think is going wrong. I admit it: When one little thing goes wrong, it feels like everything is going wrong but that is usually not remotely the case at all. Our brain processes it that way, but in reality, it’s probably a tiny little fixable problem that’s causing us to see every little detail of our lives as wrong.

My second one thing that messes with my inner-peace, inner-strength, inner-balance, whatever you may want to call it, is my perfectionism, my high expectation of myself. Even my statement of having “a lack of focus” is a form of high expectation. Does everything really need to make sense in life? No, not necessarily. I find lately I’ve been beating myself up for the tiniest little thing. I put way too much pressure on myself….

All I need to do is choose: make the change or let it go. It’s a tough one, isn’t it? Because neither of them necessarily sound good or bad, but that’s the whole point I think, these two can swing either way. If a situation is worth the change, it could be the change of a lifetime, a chance I needed to take. But for me usually, it swings the other way: I just need to let things be, trust the process and see where it takes me. I have a hard time going down that road because I am someone who likes to control where things are going to take me. Control can be good but too much is never good. Enjoying the ride and opening yourself to endless possibilities is more fun. It`s like taking a leap of faith into the unknown and not knowing the end result.

All I know is two things: I like to write and I like to travel. But then my brain adds thing: “I’d like to write for TV, be on TV, go to Osheaga, go on a yoga retreat, maybe become a yoga instructor? No! I want to freelance and I definitely want to buy myself an apartment. I don’t understand the relationship I’m in. Is it working? When you ask yourself when a relationship is working, isn’t that usually a bad thing? But I like being around that person? But is that enough? I always imagined myself with a slightly older man…wait, maybe my friend who just got in a relationship was the one I truly cared for but now I will never know because I never had the guts to speak the truth…now it hurts….Ok I should probably go to yoga and work on some editing…”

I’m going to write down these problems of mine. I’ll probably realize there’s actually no problem at all, just solutions….

The Happy List

girl happy

I think sometimes we forget to sit down, breathe and remind ourselves of the things that make us happy. We easily get caught up in our heads, with work or with other things that make us feel hopeless, bored, or unhappy. We forget that there’s a simple recipe for NOT feeling down, bitter, tired, and uninspired. That recipe is to simply do things that make us happy. For me, it’s yoga… Yoga is my recipe to happiness. I practice it between 2 to 4 times a week and everytime I do, I feel re-energized, inspired and happy. (Drinking lots of water and mimimizing that chocolate intake would make me feel better too!)

The summer didn’t exactly start with the bang that we expected (a.k.a the Alberta floods), but that doesn’t mean we need to give up on summer altogether. Yes the weather has been annoyingly unpredictable…Just today I walked to an appointment in the warm sunshine and an hour and a half later, it was pouring like no tomorrow. Then it went back to sun. Between the floods, the fires, and the train derailments, it feels like we are living quite the apocalyptic year!

Apocalyptic theories aside, summer is here. Let’s take the time to get to know the things that make us feel good inside.

Here’s my happy list. What’s yours?

  • yoga
  • writing
  • my new comfy bed
  • Elle Canada
  • trying new things
  • feeling free and limitless
  • roads trips!!
  • heart-to-heart conversations
  • planning a trip
  • bookstores!!
  • patio time with friends or with a good book
  • hot weather
  • sun tanning in the backyard
  • volunteering
  • camping by the lake
  • the beach
  • my travel benefits (Tokyo 2013, here I come!)
  • saving for my apartment
  • traveling!
  • going for a massage
  • impromptu night outs with friends
  • doing my nails
  • music festivals
  • a really good movieI could think of a hundred more things that make me happy. Listening to my iPod on my way to work is one of them or enjoying my own company…a couple of hours ago, I was sitting in my yard. I was painting my nails and relaxing to the sound of the wind and watching the beautiful sunset.

    Life’s good. There’s beauty in everything.

    Cheers.